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Shell outlines legal position..

Shell's outline of present legal position is self-serving and misleading by caf Tuesday, Jul 26 2005, 3:38pmFrom: claims that since Shell have agreed to cease all operations on the pipeline. There is no ongoing work for anyone to object to and no work that can be interfered with by objectors. Therefore there is no ongoing need for the injunction and no need to keep anyone in jail
On today’s Morning Ireland, the managing director of Shell E&P Ireland Andy Pyle denied that it was within his company’s gift to secure the release of the five men in jail for contempt of court. He insisted that everything was being done to enable them to purge their contempt. But, according to him, it was very clear from yesterdays’ court proceedings that the landowners must first of all take that step. Nothing could be done until this had happened and the case was therefore clearly “within their hands”. Last Wednesday I wrote to Mr Pyle setting out legal advice I had received that: “where a person is committed to prison for civil – as opposed to criminal – contempt of court, the committal must last until either it is purged or ‘until it is waived by the party for whose benefit the order was made’ (Chief Justice Ó Dálaigh in Keegan v De Burca [1973] IR 223), or ‘when the party seeking to enforce the order shall for any reason waive his rights and agree or consent to the release of the imprisoned party’ (Mr Justice (later Chief Justice) Finlay in The State (Commins) v McRann [1977] IR 78)”. This argument was not raised or dealt with in yesterday’s court proceedings. In fact, Shell made it very clear, in the letter it sent to the jailed men’s solicitors, that the furthest it was willing to go was to raise no objection to their release – provided they first purged their contempt and apologised to the High Court. The letter said: “We confirm that, subject to the court being satisfied with whatever assurances your clients may offer to the court, Shell will not object to the discharge of the committal orders”. And the position of the President of the High Court was also clear. He said that, if the men wanted to make any application to the court on matters in which he had a discretion, they must first purge their contempt. Mr Justice Finnegan was speaking only about applications the men might seek to make to him. He said nothing that in any way limited or prejudiced the ability of Shell to deal with this case in the way I had earlier proposed. Shell’s insistence that their hands have been tied by the High Court is therefore both misleading and self-serving. I have previously suggested that the current independent review initiated by Minister Dempsey represents a window of opportunity that should be seized by both sides. While this review continues, which will be for at least two months, Shell have agreed to cease all operations on the pipeline. There is no ongoing work for anyone to object to and no work that can be interfered with by objectors. There is therefore no ongoing need for the injunction and no need to keep anyone in jail. Nothing that happened or was said during yesterday’s High Court proceedings has changed my position or altered my understanding of Shell’s legal options – including the option to agree to the release of these men from jail, at a time when their continued imprisonment serves no useful purpose. Deputy Tommy Broughan and myself had a useful meeting today with the Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources, Noel Dempsey TD and his senior officials, arising from which Minister Dempsey will now have further discussions with the Shell management.
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Cheers eeekkkkk by DV8 Tuesday, Jul 26 2005, 4:07pm
That picture surely does starkly point it all out.
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Government and Courts and Shell are trying in tandem to humiliate and break spirit of men . . . by eeekkkkk Tuesday, Jul 26 2005, 4:04pm
while conducting damage control manouvers and spinning and distorting the 'optics' vis a vis public opinion.The national media are colluding. I ask anyone who doubts this to ask themselves why they don't publish and explain this photograph of illegal pipeline construction. It is worth a 1000 words (at least). the media are doing with honourable local to mayo (and perhaps examiner to an extent) exceptions is helping this collusion by giving ongoing space to shell, judge and dempsey, tiny bits of space to the men. They are NOT involving themselves in trying to investigate or explain in detail what is actually going on. This is their version of objectivity. Quote the Bigs without subjecting their utterances to their consistency with objective reality and smear and silence the Smalls.Shame on them.

Posted Date: 
21 August 2006 - 1:08am